Johan No-Shows Letterman

Mets fans are still basking in the afterglow of Johan Santana's no-hitter, among them Jon Stewart, who began Monday night's Daily Show with camera phone videos of him and his family celebrating in the stands at Citifield (see video embedded below).

About 45 minutes later David Letterman celebrated, too, with a "Top Ten Pitches Johan Santana Used During His No-Hitter." My favorite, was No. 5, "The sinking split-finger spit-knuckle curve change up." But No. 1, "The 'Thank God there's no instant replay' ball" drew a big chuckle. I wonder if Johan himself would have laughed if he had been there.

Though it was advertised that he would be reading the top ten list, Santana bailed on Letterman. Why isn't clear. He told the press, "We have to keep to a schedule."

Well, yes, but Letterman is taped in the early evening, and the Mets were only traveling down the road to Washington for a Tuesday game with the Nationals, starting time 7:00 pm. . Couldn't' he have caught a later flight or a train or even a limo? Whats' the big deal? He isn't even scheduled to pitch until Thursday ( and maybe not even then, as manager Terry Collins has hinted he might give Johan some extra rest after his 134-pitch effort Friday night).

Whatever the reason for standing Letterman up, the Mets are going to need every pitch they can muster over the next 25 games, which may prove to be the most savage schedule the Mets have ever faced.

It started last night with the first game of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who are tied with the Miami Marlins for the lead in the NL East. Next are three games with the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, followed by three games in Tampa against the AL East-leading Rays. Then comes a home stand with three games at Citifield against the NL Central first place Cincinnati Reds, three games against Buck Showalter's Orioles, who until a couple of days ago were leading the AL East, and three more with the Yankees. The only soft spot during this stretch is three against the Cubs at Wrigley. Then comes the killer: four straight games against the team with the best record in baseball, the Dodgers, in Los Angeles.

For the last couple of weeks, Mets fans have been shaking their heads and asking "Is this real?" By the time the team gets back from their final game with the Dodgers on July 1 (giving them a day of rest before a three-game set with the Phillies) I think we'll know if it's real.

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